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mdsc9 asked on 02/23/04

hey hunter, Im thinking of getting two tickets at 100 bucks a peace (section U2 row x) for the Morales v.s. Chaves fight at the MGM. I really want to do this but if the tickets are so far back we wont appreciate the fight, I rather spend my 200 bucks on something else. What do you think? thanks for your advise.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Grand Garden is a fairly large facility. U2 is pretty far up and away from the ring, you would be relying on the video screens to see most of the action. Granted, the electric environment could be fun anyway… You might consider a production show like O, Mystere or Zumanity. While these shows often sell out, check for tickets before you leave and again when you arrive. They sometimes sell tickets not picked up by will-call folks.

Klusendorf asked on 02/23/04

Where can I find a seating chart for the Samba Theatre?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This question has come up before and unfortunately the Rio doesn’t publish the seating chart publicly. It can only be viewed in person at the box office.

mdsc9 asked on 02/23/04

I really dont want my wife to have her passport with her while where casino hoping. She does have a Mexican drivers license that show her pic,birthdate and all that, is this an acceptable form of ID for the casinos?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Is she a Mexican citizen or was at one time? Many international travelers visit Las Vegas with foreign ID documents. If she looks young (less than thirty), expect to be carded. Most casinos publicly state that they accept state issued IDs, military ID and passports. You will find that some folks will not accept a foreign driver’s license, simply because they know they have limited ability to validate them.

mdsc9 asked on 02/23/04

on my vegas trip for this week I would like to go eat at a nice chinnese, steak house and buffet. Im looking for GOOD food and service where I wont leave all my life savings on them. Any suggestion please?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For the top buffet in town, try Bellagio. They keep raising the prices so it isn’t cheap but the food is top notch, in both quality and selection. If we’re looking for something maybe not quite as nice but not as expensive, try Paris or the Aladdin… The best value steakhouse in town is the Circus Steakhouse at Circus Circus. I’m usually scared of CC but the steakhouse is great. Also, the Range at Harrah’s is a good spot for some beef. As far as chinese, there aren’t as many middle range joints. Try the Victorian Room at the Barbary Coast. Hope this helps!

SOLDSHORT asked on 02/19/04

What is a good game to start my vegas gambling career off with?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My fave game is craps, I love rolling the dice… Lots of folks like blackjack, but make sure the game you’re playing pays 3:2 on a blackjack, not 6:5 as is the trend on some Strip games… Roulette can be fun but it is more like a crack addiction than a long time gaming strategy. Any way you go, you’ll have fun!

cjennin1 asked on 02/18/04

My girlfriend and I booked a jacuzzi suite in the Island Tower of the Tropicana for mid march. I was wondering if you could tell me how nice the jacuzzi suites are there because I havent heard many good comments about their standard rooms. Also, we heard a rumor about construction being done to the Tropicana this March. Can you tell us if there is any truth to this rumor? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I wouldn’t expect construction at the Trop for some time. The owners have announced plans to demolish one of the towers and build a new casino resort but that won’t be starting soon. While the suites at the Trop are a little worn compared to some newer hotels, they are good sized and you should have a nice time.

heyadammillerlv asked on 02/17/04

Hi Hunter- few more questions- Is it true also that Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor owned the Monte Carlo or had a part in the making of Monte Carlo? I’ve noticed that now Monte Carlo is half owned by MGM-Mirage, Inc and another company? Also- the Venitan Part 2 I’m assuming is across the street from Sands Ave? So there would be 1 large Venitan Resort. With the new Wynn Resort reporting there will be another giant man made lake, doesnt this sound like it will be another Bellagio creatin with a possible water fountian show? With the building’s apperance, you can sure see a lot of all his hotels that Steve Wynn has created into just the one big Wynn Resort. Also, what is he planning on doing with the man made mountian?

Thanks for all your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve heard a lot of wacky mis-truths but never that Jacko and Liz owned the Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo was opened as a joint venture between Mirage Resorts, Inc. and Mandalay Resort Group. MRG manages the property, Mirage owned the land. When MGM Grand bought Mirage, that was part of the deal… As far as the Venetian Phase 2, that is actually intended to be a fully contained resort that will co-brand with the existing property. Think of the relationship between The Mirage and Treasure Island for an example. Separate hotels, still closely related… As far as WLV goes, there will be a lake but much smaller than the lake at Bellagio (less than half of the size). Water features like the fountains are planned but details have not been announced. The mountain was conceived to give guests and visitors of WLV the feeling that they were enclosed in a special, all inclusive hideaway. Also, blocking out some of the questionable architecture nearby from his views. The mountain will be used to create a variety of environments at ground level. It will be something to see.

Wiggy asked on 02/16/04

Hello again Hunter
I’m looking to buy the missus a ticket to see Celine Dion on 20th June. The tickets go on sale in early March via ticketmaster but due to site maintenance I don’t seem able to buy them online. I wondered if you had any suggestions as to who I could contact via e-mail or phone (bearing in mind we’re in Manchester, England) to purchase the tickets. It’s the wife’s birthday on 15th March so I’d really like to give her the tickets then as her present.
Thanks in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ticketmaster has a history of not being able to handle the massive load of customers when popular events go online for sale. I’ve had trouble buying tickets from them myself in the past. Ordinarily I would recommend visiting a TM outlet, but their international support is thin. Your best bet is probably purchasing from them via telephone. This page gives info on charge by phone. Buying tickets in advance is the best way to do it, this show is super popular. I hope that this helps.

heyadammillerlv asked on 02/15/04

Hey Hunter,

There are rumors going around about MGM Grand, making the Emrald Tower rooms into expensive suites like “the Hotel” at Mandalay Bay, or the new tower at Ventitan or the new tower going up at Bellagio? Is this true! Also, does the MGM Grand Hotel own the Showcase Mall with the M&M and Coke store in it? Theres also the Parking Garage too, is that all owned my MGM Grand? Also- is the 10 acer lot that you can rent out at the MGM Grand the old Theme Park? With some views of train cars from the pool area, you can see where some of the old Park may still exisist? Please give me more info if you can! Also- how is the Wynn Las Vegas coming along? Is there any more update with the Frontier going down, the Tropicana and others?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have heard the same rumors regarding MGM Grand. The plan is to turn the Emerald Tower into a hotel-within-a-hotel like new offerings at Mandalay Bay (THEHotel) and Bellagio (Spa Tower). There isn’t a whole lot of extra detail available and when I checked with my contacts at MGM MIRAGE I get a firm ‘no comment’. MGM Grand, Inc. doesn’t own the Showcase or the Coke/M&M building, it is owned by a third party that hasn’t always gotten along great with MGM Grand (disputes over views of MGM’s exclusive Mansion property). The old theme park property is being transformed into condominium properties in a partnership with Turnberry, called the ‘Residences at MGM Grand’. One tower starts construction this year and more towers will follow over the next few years… The condos are already being sold (we have seen the sales info) and go for $500k to $2M. Wynn Las Vegas is coming along nicely. The main tower should be topped off in the next two weeks or so at about 50 stories. The lowrise construction that will be the casino, pool, restaurants, car dealership and high roller villas is making good progress as well. The ‘mountain’ is beginning to take shape, the elevator shafts that will service it are already on property. While it has not been announced, Wynn is planning on building a second tower with another 1,300 suites on the land still occupied by the former Desert Inn (now Wynn Resorts’ offices). The story is that the construction on phase two will start before the resort opens next Spring. Construction at WLV is pretty exciting as things are really starting to take shape. Other sites are still fairly up in the air. General consensus is that sites such as the Frontier, Stardust, and Tropicana will be redeveloped once WLV comes online. Plans are still very much in flux for each of these developments but one that is starting to take shape is the Venetian Phase 2, known as ‘The Palazzo’, across from TI. Demolition is underway and we may see an official announcement and construction starting soon. Thanks for this question, I really love watching and commenting on the construction progress.

cpenorab asked on 02/14/04

Hunter…great site, quick question after reading some posts I get the impression that the pool at Treasure Island is very small and that some guests actually use the pool at the Mirage it’s sister property. Are these people just sneaking over to the Mirage to use the pool or are they allowed to because of the hotels relationships?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The pool at TI is fairly small, yes. Generally guests of TI are not allowed to use the Mirage pool. From time to time, when the TI pool has been closed for maintenance, guests have been permitted in the Mirage pool.

kitty05 asked on 02/13/04

I am coming to vegas my first time in April. I booked a room at the tropicana. How are the rooms and I heard the garden rooms are really bad. Should I spend the extra $ and stay in one of the towers?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most folks prefer the towers, yes. The hotel is a little old but kept up pretty well, not a bad place to stay… If it is not a lot of money, I would get myself into one of the towers.

lucas asked on 02/12/04

what is the recipe for bread pudding from golden nugget casino

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This has been answered in the past. Go ahead and use the search function at the top of the page to find it. Thanks.

vegasbums asked on 02/09/04

Coming to vegas in March,Always stayed at TI Decided to try downtown this time We chose Golden Nugget,I know it’s not as great as TI but just wondering if we will be dissapointed with the change.How are the rooms at the nugget? We want to do the sunset horseback ride with the steak dinner Any suggestions? We saw a couple in books we have, Wasn’t sure if one was better than the other.also want to do the ATV tour. Thank You for your help

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you like TI, you will feel more at home at the Nugget vs. any other downtown property. Until just recently, the Nugget had the same corporate parent as TI. In late January the Golden Nugget was sold to two young Internet entrepreneurs. We see this as a positive development for downtown Las Vegas as new blood can reinvigorate the area. The rooms at the Nugget are a little bit smaller than those at TI but not by much. As far as your other questions, you seem to be referencing specific activities or packages. Without more information it is hard to comment on the quality of those packages. Have fun!

mdsc9 asked on 02/06/04

First I want to say thank you for answering my past questions, Huge Help! Any ways I booked a "great deal " from an internet site but now im afraid It sounds to good to be true and they might throw us in the ganitors room or something like that so I wanted to know what kind of room I really got from the Alladin for $79.00 for 3 nights on a weekend? I called an they told me it was a deluxe room but did not specify in what part of the hotel. Can you give me a recap on this room?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Aladdin has been selling rooms cheap for some time. They have been having ongoing financial problems for some time and they are anxious to fill rooms. Their deluxe rooms are their standard room type and are located on all floors of the hotel. With that type of room you have no better or no worse chance of getting a less desirable room (low floor, far from elevator, etc… whatever you think is less desirable).

mdsc9 asked on 02/04/04

Hi, thank you in advance for your help. It’s my first time in Vegas and my 1st wedding anniversary so I want to make the best of it for my wife and I. I read almost all the Q&A section but still would like a little help. So any ways I’m looking for the best deal around the $100 per night range (one with a large tub or even a Jacuzzi would be great), from Feb 28 – March 2, any suggestions? Also, I’m considering the Stratosphere but people say it’s a little to far from the action, Is that true? And how important is to be in center strip? Another question is If I buy my tickets online can I still try the $20 trick and when would it be more appropiate? thank you for your time and help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Getting a jacuzzi for around $100/night is probably going to be very tough or impossible, without a very special offer. This is especially true because it is over a weekend… I would suggest checking the following hotels: Treasure Island, Aladdin, New York New York, Ballys, MGM Grand, Luxor, Excalibur, the Stardust and the Sahara… Listed in order of this editor’s opinion of quality… The prices could be significantly higher but you could get lucky… I would BOOK NOW. That is not very far away and these hotels fill up quickly, especially on the weekends. Almost all of these hotels allow you to cancel up to 2 days before you arrive so booking something ensures you have a room. The Stratosphere is an excellent value for the money – cheap rooms that are clean and spacious… It IS very far North, sitting all by itself… For a first trip I probably wouldn’t recommend it. You’re just not going to get the feel you get from staying in a more traditional Strip hotel… If you look at our map, anything North of Treasure Island/the Venetian is usually quite a bit cheaper than those hotels to the South. Center Strip is probably the best place to stay for someone going to Vegas for the first time and looking for the kind of experience that is featured on TV, etc… That said, to get a $100 rate on a weekend in that area is probably wishful thinking. When you say ‘buy tickets online’, what do you mean? If you mean making your hotel reservation online versus calling it in then yes, you can still attempt the $20 trick upon check-in… When you are checking in is the best time to try it. Have a great time, happy anniversary.

electricman asked on 02/03/04

Hunter, I will be in Vegas ,May 16-22. I’m not having much luck with room deals on the strip. Is there anything happening that week?or do you think there will be specials to come? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No major conventions or events that I am aware of. May is a very nice month in terms of weather and it’s a strong month for tourism. While hotels may be sending out offers to fill dates that are empty closer to the timeframe, I wouldn’t count on that. You can always book something now and have it locked in and in the event something else is cheaper, cancel and re-book. asked on 02/01/04

I am looking into buying a package deal, staying at one of the stip hotels, through one of the major airlines. The packages, however, only have run-of-house rooms or tower suites. If I book a roh Mirage, TI or Paris room can I upgrade to a petite suite. How much would you approximate the upgrade would be?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You will be able to upgrade at check-in if the rooms are available. With most package deals you are not able to contact the hotel in advance and do the upgrade due to how the deals are setup. The cost of upgrades will vary depending on the resort, the dates of your stay, supply of rooms, etc… A good estimate would be between $50 to $100. There are other types of rooms you might want to consider. Paris has ‘P’ rooms which are a step up from the regular room but not a suite. Similarly, The Mirage has ‘Tower Deluxe’ rooms that are on high floors and accessable via private elevators. They are slightly larger than the standard rooms but still not suites. These upgrades are cheaper than the full suite upgrade would be… You might have a hard time getting a room depending on when you are going… Upgraded standard rooms and small suites are very popular. Hope this helps!

pattyxxxx asked on 02/01/04

we will be coming to vegas in march and have read that there are now two places to buy discounted show tickets (tickets 2 nite and tickets 4???) is this true and where do you go to purchase them or is there a phone # or web site to check them out and is there a certain time of day to purchase these tickets. do you have any idea of what shows they usually discount Ex. does blueman group ever sell at a discount here.? thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, it is true that these ticket discounters exist. Tickets2Nite is the more established of the two. Tix4Tonight is located at Las Vegas Blvd and Harmon, near the Harley Davidson Cafe. Tickets2Nite is near the Showcase Theater and the MGM Grand. In checking out Tickets2Nite recently, their Web site seems to be deactivated. Both of these discounters only post the shows and availability at the box office. Tickets2Nite opens at 2pm and Tix4Tonight at noon. They cannot give out the information on the Web or on the phone due to their agreement with the shows. Some shows (such as O, Mystere, Danny Gans, etc…) are never available on such services… This is the case with many of the biggest shows. You may be able to get BMG tickets through this service but it is not predictable. Your best bet if you want to see this show is to buy tickets via

rhenchel asked on 01/31/04

Another question. Would it be neccessary to make a reservation for a 5:30 dinner on Tuesday Feb 17, or Wed Feb 18? Also, would I be able to make a 7-7:30 show after dinner?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This depends entirely on what restaurant you’re talking about. Some need reservations months in advance. Others always have tables available. I would consider making a reservation… Why not be safe? You should easily be able to make the show. I would mention to the wait person that you have a show to attend and they can make sure you get out in time.

rhenchel asked on 01/31/04

Hunter, I have a few more questions. 1)when will the crowds from Valentine’s/President’s Day thin out? 2)what convienience stores are there near the IP? 3)on a return trip, would you walk or taxi back from Luxor to IP? 4)better show, American Superstrs or Legends?
Thanks for any help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Since that weekend is also a three-day for most folks, I would expect to see a large percentage of visitors leaving on that Monday. There are some stores near the IP but most of them on the Strip are very good at charging very high prices for commodity items… For reasonable prices you might want to consider heading all the way down to the CVS next to Monte Carlo. A longer walk but they won’t charge $12 for a six pack of beer… I’m a big fan of walking and the trip from Luxor to the IP wouldn’t scare me a bit. It’s a couple of miles but there’s great scenery and lots of places to visit in between… Make sure you have good walking shoes. Legends in Concert is generally considered a much better show than American Superstars.

cpenorab asked on 01/30/04

Hunter great site….booked rooms in Caesars for early April, which of the older towers…Roman, Centaurian, or Forum should we request? ….and is their an additional 200 dollar security deposit charged upon check in that they don’t let you know about until you get there. Also what is your opinion fo the rooms in the older towers, I’ve read good and bad reports. Thanks!!1

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Between the older towers at Caesars, recent renovations have made pretty sure they are all basically the same… At about 325 square feet, they are a lot smaller than those in the Palace Tower. The Forum Tower is a bit closer to the Forum casino and the Forum Shops mall. The Roman Tower is the original and overlooks the Flamingo… My least favorite is the Centaurian Tower, somewhat strange room configurations. The original tower rooms are nowhere near as nice as the Palace Tower. They are not terrible but they were built many years ago and are smaller and of a lower level of quality. As far as the security deposit goes, almost every Las Vegas Strip hotel will authorize additional funds on your credit card when you check in. This is for incidentals (phone calls, minibar, etc…). This is not actually charged to your card, they simply verify that funds are available in the event you unload the whole minibar and run off without paying. Most hotels also offer to let you leave the deposit in cash if you prefer… Caesars will surely give you all the information that you require if you speak with a reservationist.

Wiggy asked on 01/27/04

Hello again
Hope you can help – Is it still all drinks for a dollar at the Barbary Coast? It was in summer 2002 and I’ve got my fingers crossed it’ll be the same when we visit this June.
Thanks in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The BC still offers value drinks but the price is variable… I’ve seen them anywhere from $0.75 to $1.50… Last time we checked they were still running a buck a piece.

jimbo1 asked on 01/26/04

Great site!!! I am going to Vegas at the beginning of May and was planning on getting a suite at the Mirage or MGM Grand. Do you know the real difference between the Tower and Penthouse Suites at the Mirage? WHere would you stay if you wanted a suite where you could have a small reception one of the nights?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! The Penthouse and Tower suites at the Mirage have the same floor plan and square footage. The Penthouse suites are on higher floors, the top two. Also, the furnishings in the Penthouse are of a higher quality than a Tower suite. If given the choice and the price wasn’t too much different, I would pick the Penthouse. If there is a large price difference, the Tower is still very nice.

sburgin asked on 01/22/04

Planning a ‘boys’ trip March 12-14.
I checked the convention listings and don’t see anything big going on. For some reason, airfare and hotel seem awfully
high during this weekend. Any reason you can think of ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It is the tail end of the Nightclub and Bar convention, a very popular convention in Vegas for nightclub owners and even party-goers… Every club is full and they really step it up… That could be a contributing factor…

Chad asked on 01/16/04

I heard that if you tip the receptionist at check in your room may be upgraded at no additional cost. Is this appropriate? If it is, when do you give them the money? When you first arrive at the desk, after they are done checking you in? I don’t want to appear tacky, as though I am merely trying to bribe the hotel staff?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This is commonly called the ‘$20 Trick’. For more info, click on the FAQ on the sidebar or read in a few pages of questions, this comes up often.

cmlee asked on 01/16/04

I have booked a room at the Luxor for Feb 14 to Feb 20th. I booked the tower as I have read that the rooms are a little
nicer in the tower. Are there jacuzzi rooms in the tower? Would the chances be pretty slim of upgrading to one since
we are arriving on Valentines day? $20 tip worth a try for 6 nights, or would they laugh? Ive read that some people get lousy views in the tower at the Luxor (facing the pyramid) – should I call ahead and ask for a particular side of the building?

Does the Luxor offer discounted tickets for the BMG if I stay there? Discounted meals?

We are looking at going to the Grand Canyon and staying a night, can you suggest a good place to stay? Better to stay in the park or outside? What would be the best way to tour the park?
(mule, hiking, biking…?)

Thanks for any advice!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The rooms in the tower are nicer than those in the pyramid. They are newer and larger (mostly). The jacuzzi suites are in the pyramid. Some rooms in the tower have jacuzzis but not overlooking the Strip. Upgrading is always a crap shoot. It is very hard to predict how it will work out and you just have to give it a try. Weekends with holidays are always harder. None of the views at Luxor are that fantastic… You usually end up staring at Mandalay Bay, the airport or Excalibur. If you are in the tower and have a room facing south, all you will see is the pyramid. Luxor does not offer discounted tickets or dining to hotel guests. As far as the Grand Canyon trip goes, your specific questions are outside my area of expertise. I would recommend contacting a tour operator to see what they can offer you as a package deal.

Betty asked on 01/15/04

I have been invited to Riveria for a Slot Tournament , times posted are 9 am -12:00Pm do you actually play a slot machine for 3 hours straight. Are the odds any better playing in a tournament ? verses playing slots on your on

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

When you play a slot tournament, you don’t put money in and you don’t cash it out. The machines are specially set for tournament play… The person who racks up the most credits wins a (usually) cash prize at a later awards banquet. Some folks really love the friendly competition.

Betty asked on 01/15/04

What other casinos are holding slot tournaments in Feb and March.?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Many casinos hold slot tournaments at regular intervals but many are only open via invitation from your casino/slot host.

bella4always asked on 01/14/04

30 ladies 40 plus age are meeting here in vegas for a 28th high school reunion. The date is set for Nov.5 and 6 Friday and Saturday. Would you mind helping or recommending hotels or suites not that expensive but at least classy that are adjoining to each other plus an extra room for our meeting, get together, for games, for eating or miscellaneous also adjacent to the rooms. It will be great if there will be a free shuttle from the airport to hotel so it will minimize our transportation expenses. Any recommendatioin too for a Saturday night entertainment and dinner. Thank you very much

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Accommodating that many people for a meeting in a suite requires a special type of room… Most suites aren’t really big enough for 30 people to fit comfortably… You do have a few options though… I would take a good look at the Hospitality Suites at the Mirage. These are specifically designed to handle in-room meetings. The Mirage Web site has a lot of information on entertaining in your suite. They have a specially prepared document here: Mirage Hospitality that should be able to give you an idea of the catering options if you wanted to go that way. Of course, you don’t have to use their food service if you don’t want to… These suites are between 1,100 and 1,600 square feet depending on the options you choose. Suites at the Mirage come with limo transport to and from the airport, but just for 6 people. If you are all arriving at the same time, you might ask them about sending a shuttle bus instead… Dinner for 30 people can also be a little tough, as many restaurants are setup for smaller parties. I would take a look at the Samba Grill at the Mirage (Brazilian Steakhouse – fantastic!), the Circus Steakhouse at Circus Circus (good meat at a very reasonable price), or perhaps Olives at Bellagio, another great choice. If you’re looking for a show, on the high end would be either ‘O’ or ‘Mystere’, both productions by Cirque de Soleil. Another fun show that is much less expensive is Lance Burton, a magician at Monte Carlo. Danny Gans is at the Mirage and is sidesplittingly funny but tickets are pricey and hard to get. Clint Holmes at Harrah’s is a good choice for a more traditional ‘crooner’ type show. Information on all of these attractions is available on this Web site. I hope this was helpful. Have a great time!

Heather31p asked on 01/14/04

Hi again! Me & my husband were originally staying at Paris from Feb 2-6 for our ann/birthday/belated honeymoon. I switched reservations to TI because it was only a little more for a petite suite there than a standard room at Paris. What do you think the possibilities are of getting an upgrade there? Should I even try the 20 dollar trick to try and get an upgrade to an even nicer suite? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Petite Suites at TI are great. Much better than a standard room at Paris. Also, the staff at TI are very nice and I think the dealers are some of the best in Las Vegas. As far as upgrades go, those are harder to come by when you are in suite territory. You might try the trick and ask for an Executive Suite, the next level up. You could get lucky, it is not impossible. Have a great time!

monti asked on 01/13/04

Looking to do something different for a person on his 50th birthday in vegas. Is there a limo service that has a hummer or party van? Thinking maybe a helicopter ride to Grand Canyon. I have heard that they have been known to crash a time or two. Could you recommend one of the more reliable one? There will be 5 people(2 females). Thanks for any info you can provide.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you are looking for a Hummer Limo, try Double Down Limo at They have what you need. A helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon is a great idea. While it is true there have been crashes in the past, these are very few and far between. Just like airlines, you hear a lot more about the one in a hundred-thousand crashes than you do about the half-dozen successful flights they run a night. For reliable tour operators, try http:// Hope this was helpful.

tiptons asked on 01/13/04

Hello, My wife and I will be visiting Las Vegas for the first time this June for our 10 year anniversary. I really want this to be a memorable occasion. Being that there are SO MANY hotels out there, can you recommend one or two that would be great ones? I would really like to get a suite for her with a great view and a jacuzzi, but don’t wan’t to spend $400 bucks a night either. I have heard that June is one of the best times to visit since the rates are lower. Also, upon your recommendation, would it be best to reserve a lower rated room and try the $20 upgrade? If so, please let me know which room you would recommend reserving and which room you would recommend trying to upgrade to at the properties. Being our first time, I really think staying on the Strip would be best. Love the site and visit here often. Also, We really want to see Celine when we visit, any suggestions on tickets? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

June can be a great time to visit, as prices are usually lower than other times of the year but the weather is still good (not too hot). If you really want a memorable experience, I would stay away from the $20 trick. While it can work, it is not very reliable and suites are often booked up in advance. You could end up without the room you’re looking for. I would check rates at the following properties/rooms: Petite and Executive Suites at Treasure Island – both types are nice and the latter includes a jacuzzi tub. These are usually reasonably priced. For a higher end experience look at a Tower Suite at the Mirage. These are cheaper than the similar suites at Bellagio but in my opinion are just as nice. Huge living room, bedroom and a bathroom bigger than many New York City apartments. This is a true wow room – when she sees it she’ll melt. These suites at the Mirage are on high floors and accessible via private, keyed elevators. While they are sometimes expensive, I have also seen them at VERY reasonable rates in the past. These suites at the Mirage come with limo service and some other amenities as well. Since many hotels on the Strip have nice rooms it is important to find a hotel that also has good service, friendly employees, a good pool and great food choices. The Mirage fits this perfectly. If you’re not interested in the Mirage, check out the rooms in THEHotel, a new addition to Mandalay Bay. Staying on the Strip is essential to get a true feel for a Vegas vacation. Perhaps try off-Strip or Downtown on a future trip, but the Strip has a different energy… Tickets for Celine are typically sold 90 days in advance through Ticketmaster. I would check Ticketmaster often to see when they are available for sale, or call Caesars box office to get a specific date. They sell quickly, even at their very high prices. I hope that you have a great time… I predict that you’ll love Las Vegas and be planning your next trip before you are even done with the first!

ian448 asked on 01/12/04

we have stayed at the bellagio on several occasions, mainly in one of the lakeview rooms.
we are thinking about booking one of the penthouse suites for our next visit, what kind of VIP services can we expect when booking such a room

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Penthouse Suites at Bellagio are luxuriously appointed with three bathrooms, a large living room and an incredible bedroom. Floor to ceiling windows with electronically controlled shades, plus they are only on the higher floors (29-36). Expect turndown service nightly with chocolates and flowers on your pillow plus access to VIP services hosts to make your restaurant and show reservations. If you are looking to treat yourself to something special, this is a great choice! If Bellagio’s prices are a little high, you should also look at Penthouse Suites at her little sister, the Mirage. Usually a great value and also a fantastic experience.

SOLDSHORT asked on 01/09/04

I am going to vegas in March to celebrate my 21st! Whats a good place to stay for 5 people? Either 2 rooms connecting or a suite with two bedrooms. Affordiblity is a plus!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

At the low end of the spectrum, I would check out the Westward Ho. It’s very no frills but have large rooms at low prices… Moving up, I would highly recommend Treasure Island. You can get two rooms that connect… TI is usually a great deal and is right in the middle of the action on the Strip. Great service and good people, I personally stay there often. Also, check the Mirage for your dates, as it is also a great place to stay. I went to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday, stayed at TI and had a blast… Have a great time.

Nevermatters asked on 01/09/04

I have the opportunity to stay in THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. What exactly is THEhotel? Is THEhotel supposed to compete with the Four Seasons which is also in Mandalay Bay? Is it an upgrade of the regular Mandalay Bay rooms (as being a hotel within a hotel)? I’m confused……Anyways, my real questions is that I was trying to get into the Hard Rock Hotel but refuse to pay $379/night (Weekend-April 16th through 18th). I could stay at the Four Seasons for less. Being a single guy in my early 30s I thought I would be happier staying at the Hard Rock (and eventually I’ll find a booking at a decent rate). It’s just that I can stay at THEhotel comped (with no gambling requirement). So do I stay at the Hard Rock where I know I’ll have a good time or stay with the old fogies at THEhotel?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

THEHotel is the new tower at Mandalay Bay, all suites and very high end. While most would say that the Four Seasons (in the main part of Mandalay Bay) has superior service to the rest of the hotel, THEHotel is no slouch… It is a whole new set of rooms that are part of a new hotel tower. While the Hard Rock is a young, hip crowd for sure, Mandalay Bay (and thus THEHotel) is not a bunch of old fogies. They are really going for a young crowd and it is usually packed with young folks… Plus the Palms and the Hard Rock are just a cab ride away if you want to hang out there.

montecristokid asked on 01/09/04

We will be staying at Ballys Feb 5-8 and I would like to try the $20 trick. When I do, what specifically should I ask for room wise, and does it matter whether I try this at airport checkin, or at the hotel itself? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I think you’d do better if you go for it at the hotel itself instead of the airport check in. As far as the room goes, try for a ‘Grand Suite’. These have killer jacuzzis right in the room. Have fun!

lahout asked on 01/08/04

I’m thinking of bringing my older teen sons to vegas in April. Is there enough to do for teens?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This is a controversial subject… Some feel that kids (under 21) have no place in Las Vegas… That said, there is a ton of stuff to do if they are interested in the hotels, Strip, etc… I went to Las Vegas many times before my 21st birthday and had a lot of fun… Of course I have more fun now. :-)

I would suggest checking out the Fountains of Bellagio, Treasure Island pirate battle, Race for Atlantis at the Forum Shops, the Adventuredome at Caesars, the tower at the Stratosphere, etc… There are a ton of non-gaming activities available.

AmyD asked on 01/06/04

Help !!!
I need to find a link to The Stardust’s….Wayne Newton Theater Seating Chart !! Can anyone give me that link ??
I might be seeing a show there in March……and can sit in Section A….tables 10,11 or 12. I know these are on the floor, left stage……but where around the stage area ???

I would appreciate any and all help !!!!!!!!!
THANKS !!!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Unfortunately the Stardust does not make the seating chart for the Wayne Newton Theater available anywhere but at the actual box office, so you are out of luck. Wish we could help!

Heather31p asked on 01/05/04

Hi! I finally finished reading all 60 pages of your Q&A’s. Me and my husband will be coming there from Feb 2-6 and staying at Paris. We are 23. It is our 3 year anniversary/his birthday/and our belated honeymoon we never got. I already bought tickets for second city, midnight fantasy, and O. I think we are going to eat at Stratosphere On Top of the World on the 2nd as that is our anniversary. What time do you think we should make our reservation for to make the 1030 showing of second city. Also, if I dress up in an evening dress would I be overdressed for a comedy show like that? A couple more questions. Does Paris have jacuzzi rooms? We have a deluxe room booked right now but what is the difference between that and the premier? I didn’t see anything for a standard room so is a deluxe room there standard? Also, my husband is not a dancer but I like to go to the clubs. Is there any club in particular that would be fitting for us so hes not bored to death if I go dance for a while? Thanks for all your answers!!! I am sure I will have more questions before I leave to go. :) Heather

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would consider an 8pm reservation at the Top of the World. That will give you plenty of time to eat, have some wine and enjoy the view… Nothing would be worse than having to rush through your fantastic meal to get to a show on time. You should be able to grab a cab from the Strat to the Flamingo for the show should be very simple on a Monday and the ride shouldn’t be more than about 10 minutes.

As far as being over dressed, you have nothing to worry about. Folks wear all kinds of different attire in Las Vegas and while Second City isn’t a ‘fancy’ show, you won’t feel out of place.

At Paris (and many other Las Vegas hotels), a ‘deluxe’ room is their standard room offering. The rooms at Paris are nice, clean and still fairly new. Paris does offer in-room jacuzzi tubs in some of their suites. If you don’t want to upgrade all the way to a suite, you might want to consider one of the premiere, or ‘P’ rooms which offer better views and slightly enlarged spaces.

As far as clubs go, you have quite a few options. Paris has a new club, Risque, that is right out on the Strip. Across the street at Bellagio is Light, one of the most popular clubs in town. At the Palms, right off the Strip, check out ghostbar on the roof (not a lot of dancing, but a fun place) and Rain (their nightclub). Both are very popular these days. If your husband is game to hang out, he can have fun without dancing. I don’t dance either but I can still stand at the bar and have a few drinks while checking out the action.

I hope this stuff helps. Have a great trip!

sweetypieakm asked on 01/05/04

Hiya Hunter Daaahling! I, like one of your other readers, read everylast one of your answers to every last one of the questions submitted and posted :::smiles::: and now have a question of my own. My fiancee and I are planning our wedding the weekend of June 26th 2004, and have opted to stay at the Excalibur (just because we are dorks and like to eat food with our hands :::wink wink:::) and am curious if there really is much of a difference in rooms (quality wise) at the Excalibur. The prices do vary enough to make a difference to our pocketbook, but we still would like to have a nice comfortable room, and the best there is within budget (which as it stands is about 300.00 for 4 days and 3 nights, but are willing to shell out a bit more if it’s worth it). We did see that they offer jacuzzi rooms, and deluxe rooms. Now aside from the obvious that the jacuzzi room would have a jacuzzi, is there really much difference between that and the deluxe and the standard? Also do you know or have you heard if there is a such thing as mentioning you are honeymooners and the staff upgrading you for free? I have seen it on tv, and know of the $20 trick, but wonder if there is some truth to good old fashioned cheezy smiles and sweetness to get a bump up to something snazzy at that hotel. One last thing, is the weather attrocious in June there? My fiancee wants to wear his Navy dress blues for our wedding, but is concerned about the heat… also I’m concerned with melting in my gown… any suggestions, and or times of the day or night that would be most comfortable weather wise to look our best at our wedding (we will be wed at Stallion Mountain golf club, not sure yet if it will be outdoor or indoor). Thank you for your vast knowledge of all things Vegas, Hunter, oh, “Oracle of”!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for reading! Congratulations on your engagement. I too was recently engaged and I’m very excited… Ok, on to the questions…

Rooms at the Excalibur are not bad, in that they are not dirty and they are fairly well kept. They are not as luxurious as rooms at other Las Vegas resorts. Excalibur often offers some very attractive room rates. My biggest problem with Excalibur is not the rooms but the casino, which has a few too many small children running around than like. The hotel has a great location, with many popular attractions nearby. As long as you know that it doesn’t compare to Bellagio, you should be fine. There isn’t a big difference with the jacuzzi suites vs. the regular rooms other than the jacuzzi. It sits right near the bed and window and easily fits two… More than that would be a tight fit.

You have a chance on getting upgraded for free for your honeymoon but I wouldn’t say it is a great chance… It DOES work sometimes but as with most other things in life, there are no guarantees. If you really want a different room you should probably book it in advance to ensure it is available.

June is hot, but not as blazingly hot as July and August. Still, the average temperature is about 84 F. If your wedding is outdoors, I would aim for the evening if possible, as things will be cooling off…

Congratulations again, have a great trip!

mkesfahani asked on 01/02/04

Hey Hunter! I’ve been considering getting a 2 Bedroom Penthouse on the 29th Floor of the MGM. I was quoted a rate of $750 per night which I thought was great, but the lady I spoke to told me I couldn’t have more than 4 in the room. I asked her how strict they are about this and she said I might get away with 6. Now, I know that this floor is accessed via private, guarded elevators, but do you think they’re really that strict? She also said that you can’t have a party or basically do anything loud or they’ll kick you out. Now, I’ve read some crazy stories of this infamous floor online (mostly caused by invited guests) and I find what this lady was telling me as hard to believe. Then again, I’m not an invited guest… What are your thoughts?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As far as I know, all of the Las Vegas Strip resorts have a limit of 4 persons to a room that contains only one proper bedroom. Since you’re talking about a two bedroom suite I am surprised that they wanted to limit you to 4 people. The guards will not prevent you from bringing any reasonable number of people up to your room (they might question you if you usher in 30 people). I have not stayed in that part of the MGM Grand but my feeling based on past experiences in similar rooms at other resorts is that the reservationist was giving you standard policy and that policy is not enforced. I doubt you would have a problem with having some friends for a get together in your room. We had a penthouse at the Mirage, a room with a similar setup. We had no problems at all with the hotel security staff or other guests. They will get upset with you if you are disturbing other guests of the hotel so as long as you act in a respectful manner you should be in good shape… plus I would be VERY surprised if they didn’t give you a warning before throwing you out on the street if there was a problem. I hope this helps.

will0000 asked on 12/29/03

Hi…great site by the way. I will be coming to Vegas tomorrow for New Years with a group of 7 guys. We are staying at the Palms and have already bought tickets for RAIN on New Years Eve on Ticketmaster for $150 each. Does this guarantee entry? Is there any line perks for staying at the hotel? If not, what time would you reccomend getting on line for RAIN to ensure entry by 11pm? Finally, were going to 7 afterhours and were wondering what the best way to get there from the Palms would be and exactly where it is located? Thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My understanding is that the ticket you have purchased guarantees you access to the club. You will still have to wait in line and they do not give priority line status to hotel guests under normal circumstances. The line can be insane on an average weeknight, let alone NYE. That said, the ticket process should make it more orderly… It is hard to say with certainty but I would check the line around 9:30pm to see how long it is… It could take an hour to make your way through the line… As far as Se7en (Seven) goes, it is on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. (the Strip) and Harmon Ave. From the Palms head towards the Strip on Flamingo Rd. Turn right on Las Vegas Blvd (Bellagio will be on your right). Continue on Las Vegas Blvd. to Harmon (just past Bellagio) and Seven will be on your right hand side, opposite the Aladdin (directly across from the Harley Davidson Cafe). For New Years Eve, the Strip is closed to automobile traffic. While you could probably get two cabs (each cab can take 5 max) and go all the way around the back way and get close to Seven, it would be a long cab ride (they would have to take all backroads, all the way around). You could walk it… There is a pedestrian bridge across the I-15 from the Palms to Las Vegas Blvd. It isn’t too long of a walk if you guys don’t mind walking… Anyway, I hope this helps. I’m leaving tomorrow for Las Vegas as well and I think it will be a great New Years. Rain is a perfect place to party, I’m sure you guys will have a great time.

tracy asked on 12/27/03

I would like to treak my boyfriend to a Japanese meal whilst in Vegas. I would be looking to pay about $50 a head. Can you recommend one? Many thanks, Tracy

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would take a look at Shintaro at Bellagio. Prices range above and below $50 but there should be quite a bit of food in your budget. More information is available at the Bellagio Web site. Enjoy!

rhenchel asked on 12/20/03

Hunter, couple questions. What kind of weather should I expect in mid February? Willl it be comfortable enough to walk around outside? and how much cooler will it get at night?
About how far/long of a walk would it be from Paris to Venetian?
Also, once inside the casinos, are there clearly marked signs or maps for easy access to certain parts of the casino? Do hotels/casinos offer maps of the layout?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Las Vegas temperatures in February usually range between 41 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. I would bring some warm clothes but not worry about moving about outside. Walking from Paris to the Venetian is not too far at all, probably a 15 minute walk at a reasonable pace. Almost all casinos will have maps available on the floor for viewing. Some have maps they hand out to guests and can usually be acquired by asking at the front desk. The casino also have overhead signs that direct you to popular attractions inside the property. Hope this helps, have a great time!

bmonti asked on 12/19/03

Will be coming to vegas Feb 26th,staying 3 nights at 4 queens.There will be 5 of us staying in 3 rooms@29.00 a night including sat nite. My wife is concerned;we have always stayed on the strip ie;mirage,paris,luxor. I along with the other 2 men like to gamble,which I’m sure will be better than the strip.Tell us if the women will be disappointed in the 4 queens. Is it clean? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The 4 Queens is a clean property but much more no-frills than its Strip counterparts. That said, there is quite a bit to do downtown and the gambling is usually better.

rhenchel asked on 12/18/03

Hi, Wonderful site you have going here. I made reservations at Imperial Palace for Feb 15 thru Feb 18 on $50 a nite for each night, even with Valentines and President’s day right there. My question is, are the rooms reserved through online booking agencies like standard hotel rooms, or the cheap rooms? I know Imperial has a “motel Style” section, and am worried we will be stuck in those rooms because of the CHEAP rates we utilized on Thanks for any info, and I apologize in advance. I will probably be asking you many more questions in the near future.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks very much! In general, prices from sites like are not ‘cheap rooms’. These sites buy large blocks of rooms at a discount and then resell them but they are usually the standard room type… The fine print usually stipulates that they can put you anywhere on property so if you are concerned you might want to call the hotel and see if your reservation has been put into their system yet – then they can tell you exactly where you are.

annroque asked on 12/16/03

I called the Box office at the Rio for a view of the seating chart at the Samba Theatre and they said they do not have a seating chart they can fax me (I read your last Q&A and you said that if I call Rio they can fax this to me). I bought tickets for the Penn and Teller show and I want to know if I have good seats.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It is too bad they are choosing to no longer provide that information via fax. After checking with our sources it appears the only way to view seat locations is in person at the box office.

AlMa asked on 12/16/03

Hi, my question: I’m looking for a room or suite in a hotel on the Strip or very close, with kitchen or kitchenette (microwave, etc.), for moderate price around $100/day. Looked for it on different sites, but could not find anything. Could you help me, please?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would try a few locations off of the Strip. Depending on the time of year, prices will vary quite a bit. Check Alexis Park, Tuscany Resort, Hilton Grand Vacations (two locations – one on the Strip and one near the Hilton) as well as the Amerisuites on Paradise Road.

abianco asked on 12/15/03

Why is Valentine’s/President’s day so expensive??? Any deals to be had, need to know soon. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

President’s Day weekend is traditionally a busy weekend in Las Vegas due to the holiday and the fact that it coincides directly with Valentine’s Day this year has made it even more popular. I wouldn’t expect a lot of discounted room rates for that weekend.

going to vegas asked on 12/13/03

We are off to Vegas tomorrow and had booked the special promotion at the Mirage for 5 nights at $69 a night.
I’ve been looking around online and see that the Mirage also has Tower deluxe rooms. I know the uprgade to this room from the standard deluxe would cost about $50 a night.
Is it possible to get an upgrade to the Tower deluxe without paying the extra $50 a night? I ‘ve heard people say to use the $20 trick and mention it’s your anniversary or something. It was my bday last week and we will be there to do some late celebrating.
Any suggestions on how to go about this from someone who is not much of a haggler???
Thanks in advance

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is no secret codeword that will guarantee you an upgrade. As you mentioned, you can pay for the upgrade at $50/night… You can try the $20 trick and see if it works. Pull out all the stops and be as charming as possible. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and other times no dice… Really nothing to lose though. Have fun!